Choosing the right test, IELTS vs TOEFL exam is really important if you want to study in English-speaking countries. This comparison gives you clear and short information to help you decide which test is best for you.

In this blog, we talk about two important tests that check how well you speak English: IELTS and TOEFL. We’ll start by looking at how they’re set up. IELTS focuses on everyday English that you use in real life, while TOEFL is more about academic English used in schools and universities. We’ll also explain how they score your language skills differently.

IELTS and TOEFL: A Quick Comparison

Ownership & Administration

  • IELTS: Managed by the British Council, Cambridge Assessment English, and IDP: IELTS Australia.
  • TOEFL: Administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service).

Test Format

  • IELTS: Offers paper-based and computer-based tests.
  • TOEFL: Mostly computer-based, with a paper option available where there’s no internet.


  • IELTS: Takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • TOEFL: About 3 hours.


  • IELTS: Uses band scores from 0 to 9.
  • TOEFL: Scores range from 0 to 120.

Result Processing Time

  • IELTS: You get results in 5 to 7 days for computer-based tests.
  • TOEFL: Scores are available online about 6 days after the test.

Test Components Comparison

Listening30 minutes, various accents60-90 minutes, North American accents
Reading60 minutes, 3 long texts54-72 minutes, 3-4 passages
Writing60 minutes, 2 tasks50 minutes, 2 tasks
Speaking11-14 minutes, face-to-face interview17 minutes, 4 tasks, speaking into a microphone

IELTS vs. TOEFL Test Format

IELTS Test Format:

SectionDurationNumberof Activities/Tasks
Listening30 minutes4 tasks
Reading60 minutes3 tasks
Writing60 minutes2 tasks
Speaking11-15 minutes3 tasks
Total Duration2 hours 45 minutes

TOEFL Test Format:

SectionDurationNumberof Questions
Reading60-80 Minutes36-56 Questions
Listening60-90 Minutes34-51 Questions
Speaking20 Minutes34-51 Questions
Writing11-15 Minutes3 Tasks
Total Duration4 Hours 

In IELTS, the listening, reading, and writing sections have specific durations, and the speaking section involves 3 tasks within a given timeframe.

For TOEFL, the duration varies for each section, with reading, listening, and speaking having a range of questions, and the writing section consisting of 2 tasks. The total test duration for TOEFL is 4 hours.

IELTS vs TOEFL – Which One to Choose?

Both IELTS VS TOEFL are well-respected exams, but they have distinct differences in their methods, formats, and content. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider which one aligns better with your goals.

Firstly, both TOEFL and IELTS assess all aspects of the language.


  • Speaking section involves listening to a vocal recording on the computer.
  • Writing section requires answering questions on the computer.
  • Consists of four tests covering speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
  • Takes 3 hours to complete.
  • Scored on a 120-point scale.
  • Generally of average difficulty.


  • Speaking section involves interaction with an examiner.
  • Writing section is done on paper with document analysis.
  • Has one test for each of the four components.
  • Takes 245 minutes or approximately 4 hours.
  • Scored on a scale of 0 to 9.
  • Considered extremely challenging.

When comparing the costs, the TOEFL exam ranges between $200 and CAD 325, while the IELTS exam costs $260 and CAD 390. If you’re on a tight budget, this price difference might pose a challenge.

Ultimately, the best exam choice depends on your personal preference. Both exams are widely accepted by hundreds of institutions worldwide, and you can find test dates throughout the year. Make sure to check the English proficiency requirements of your preferred university before deciding which exam to take.

While both IELTS VS TOEFL serve the same purpose, they differ in various aspects. Understanding these differences is crucial before making a decision about which exam to take.

If you’re still uncertain about which exam to choose for your study abroad journey, consider reaching out to Quickenrols’ experts. They can help Indian students navigate the English proficiency exams and provide detailed information about studying abroad in destinations like Australia, Canada, UK, USA, and more. Register now to access further assistance and guidance from our counselors.


Which is easier, IELTS or TOEFL?

The perceived difficulty varies by individual. Some may find IELTS easier if they’re comfortable with British English and face-to-face interviews, while others might prefer TOEFL if they’re more accustomed to American English and computer-based speaking tasks.

Which test is more widely accepted?

Both IELTS and TOEFL are widely accepted worldwide. However, specific preferences may vary by institution and country.

How should I prepare for these tests?

Familiarize yourself with the test format, practice with sample questions, and improve your general English skills by reading, writing, listening, and speaking regularly. Practice tests and language study materials are also available to help you prepare effectively.